Category Archives: Cakes

Blueberry and Sour Cream Loaf | The Novice HousewifeAmidst packing at my parents’ place and cleaning the refrigerator- attempting to use left over sour cream and a batch of blueberries, and flipping through the recipes July’s Indian issue of Good Housekeeping, this moist and flavorful Blueberry and Sour Cream Loaf was made.

When I told a friend of mine that I was posting the recipe for this loaf on the blog today, the question arose what is the difference between a sweet loaf and a cake. While I answered the doubt to the best of my knowledge, I wondered what the web had to say about it and did a quick google search to find the exact difference.

The most obvious difference is the tin used to make the baked good in question. Loaf cakes are always baked in a loaf pan, whereas cakes in other square or round tins. And even though both cakes and loaf cakes share similar ingredients, the ratio of flour, fat, sugar and the mixing methods are different and make a difference in the final product.

Blueberry and Sour Cream Loaf | The Novice Housewife

While quick breads (like banana bread, scones and muffins) are made by combining the wet ingredients in one bowl and the dry ingredients in the other and then mixing the two till just combined with few lumps, cakes are made by creaming the butter and sugar together (or by folding whipped egg whites into flour, sugar, yolks mixture- the chiffon method), lending a finer crumb to cakes. Thus, cakes are generally lighter than loafs and other quick breads. Kind of like the difference between a muffin and a cupcake, a cupcake being a mini cake and a muffin being a type of quick bread.

The Kitchn explains the difference between a cupcake and a muffin fairly well, and best to my knowledge that would be the difference between a cake and a quick bread (or sweet loaf).

Also generally, comparing various recipes, loafs are always with some kind of fruit in them, whereas cakes can be with fruit or not. 

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 Triple Layer Hazelnut Mocha Chocolate Mousse Cake | The Novice HousewifeOne of the most requested recipes by my family is the triple layer chocolate mousse cake I have posted before on the blog. And seriously, what’s there not to love about this cake. Its every chocolate lover’s dream dessert. Three different layers of chocolate in different forms- a dark chocolate mousse sandwiched between a rich flourless chocolate cake at the bottom, and  white chocolate mousse for the top.

So its not a biggie that every time I have made it, it has been appreciated a lot and thats why whenever I am at my parents, and we have company over that’s the first thing my mom suggests me to make.

A week back we had some guests over, so my mom wanted me to make the triple layer mousse cake again. I did not have access to white chocolate, but for long I have been toying with the idea of a mocha flavored mousse layer for a long time, so thought it would be the perfect occasion to finally try it out.

Since my dad is retiring and my parents are permanently moving to Punjab, my mom asked me to make use of ingredients in the refrigerator in an attempt to clean the fridge before packing it up. She had a bit of cream cheese left and I thought instead of a mascarpone mocha mousse (which was what I had initially planned) I should try a cream cheese based mousse recipe. I found a recipe on the Taste of Home website, and thought it was perfect.  Only change I made to the recipe was increase the amount of instant coffee called for in the recipe and adding gelatin to the mixture, since the original recipe called for it and I wasn’t sure whether the mousse would hold up in a cake form without the gelatin.

 Triple Layer Hazelnut Mocha Chocolate Mousse Cake | The Novice Housewife

I had a little apprehensions about how the cake would turn out, since it was the first time I was making this version. The cake turned out perfect. My sister-in-law who has had both versions commented that she actually liked this one more. Well, who doesn’t love coffee and chocolate together!

This is a great dessert, and being fairly easy to make, a perfect way to impress your guests with your baking abilities. One of my sister-in-law’s friend has also made a mango cake version of it, with excellent results, which you can read about in the comment section of the original post.

And since I am posting today, I will also throw it out there that two days back was my Blogiversary. I completed four years of blogging! Yay!! Something that started of as a way to just kill time in the beginning and not really with an intention to have it being read by anyone has grown up to mean something so much more for me. This blog has given me an independent identity, its my creative outlet, and made me discover so much about me that probably would have remain hidden had the blog not been there. I have learnt so much because of this blog and I know I will continue learning so much more. The blog has also introduced me to such inspiring talents out in the blogging community and even though the past few weeks I haven’t been able to catch up with the blogging community, these bloggers continue to be an inspiration to me everyday. And I know I have been slacking with responding to you comments, but I really am grateful to everyone who reads this blog, comments on my posts, or silently keeps a track of my posts, likes me on facebook, follows me on instagram or twitter. It truly means a lot. Thank You and hope you enjoy this recipe :)

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Swiss Black Forest Cake | The Novice Housewife

All over US , people celebrate July 4th as Independence Day, but in our family it is celebrated as my dad’s birthday. And 18 years back for that very occasion I baked my first cake.

I was in 7th-8th grade then. We had just moved houses in Jodhpur, and two of my friends had come for a sleepover. After my parents had gone off to sleep, we girls decided that it would be a great idea to bake a cake for my dad. Of course, none of us had baked one before. Since we wanted it to be a surprise for both my parents, we decided not to ask for my mom’s help and were confident that we will manage. I had seen my mom bake a countless times before, but that was the only experience I had. I was not much of a kitchen person growing up. I was a bit of feminist and thought if my brother isn’t cooking I do not need to as well. But, I knew where her recipe book was and we took out one of the cake recipes I knew she used quite frequently.

Having hardly ever entered the kitchen for anything, I had no clue where she had kept most of the ingredients and had no luck finding the all purpose flour. I did find the can with whole wheat flour, and thought I will just bake the whole cake with whole wheat flour (those days whole wheat flour cakes weren’t a thing). We ended up with a pretty dense cake, thanks to the whole wheat flour. The taste wasn’t anything like what mom made. To amend our error we decided to frost it a lot. The frosting surprisingly saved the cake a bit. My dad did not mind it at all and my mom thought it was a very sweet gesture. In fact, today when I asked her if she remembered the cake, she said as far as she remembers it came out quite well and the frosting was really nice. She particularly remembered the frosting. So do I.

Swiss Black Forest Cake | The Novice Housewife

Somehow life made a full circle yesterday. 18 years back when I made my first cake on dad’s birthday, I had a dense, dry cake which to some extent the frosting saved. Yesterday I made a Black Forest cake (specially requested by my dad) that I have made a few times before with excellent results, but ended up screwing it up for my dad. As a result, I again served a dense, dry cake to my dad for his birthday which surprisingly was saved only because of the frosting. I did figure out what went wrong- I had oven issues, and an error on my part to blame, but lessons learnt nonetheless.

People still went for seconds, but having baked it before and having it not failed me any of those times, I was a little disappointed that the screw up happened with my dad’s birthday cake.

Swiss Black Forest Cake | The Novice Housewife

 

No matter how it tasted, my dad loved that I made him a cake. And I know for him its the thought that counts. And I know he is reading this post  (he reads all my posts), so I just want to tell him that I love him. Yes, there are times when he doesn’t understand me and times when I don’t understand him, and its ok because I know there is no other man who can love me the way he does. And I am so glad that I have him as a father- his personality, efficiency in work, knowledge, sensitivity to my mother’s needs, thoughtfulness has shaped me and my brother to what we are today. And for that both my brother and I will always be grateful.

We also have been spoilt a lot by my father. Every wish of ours has always been his command. We just have to utter the words and he tries his best to make sure that our work is done. And that’s why we have named him Super Papa. You want something done, you ask Papa. Yep, spoilt we are.

And now he is retiring. He turned 60 yesterday. And in a month he retires from the Indian Air Force. He has had a wonderful tenure (touch wood) and deserved every bit of success that has come his way. He worked hard, so that we could enjoy. With the help of my mom, he has made sure we had the best years growing up, and now I hope we can fill the the next chapter of his life with as much joy as he has been filling ours.

Happy 60th, Papa. Love you.

Swiss Black Forest Cake | The Novice Housewife

Click here for the Swiss Black Forest Cake recipe. 

And while we celebrated my dad’s birthday, I hope you all had a happy and fun 4th of July!

And,  if you are looking for some holiday food inspiration, head on over to Raise.com  (a platform to buy and sell gift cards) where they are featuring some of their favorite festive 4th of July recipes. I was contacted by Raise.com to participate in their July 4 Fun campaign.